Authorities in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, say lions then mauled the corpse of the unnamed dead man after he was killed by the elephants – and left “very little remains”
The dad was part of a group of poachers in Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, on Wednesday.
It is believed they alarmed the elephant who charged at the victim near Crocodile Bridge, deep in the reserve.
The lions then mauled the man, and reportedly left “very little remains”.
Don English, another member of the group which fled in fear, has aided police in the investigation.
And Kruger National Park (KNP) has today paid tribute to the victim, who has young daughters.
Glenn Phillips, managing executive of the reserve, said: “Entering the Kruger illegally and on foot is not wise as it holds very many dangers and this incident is clear evidence of that.
“It was very sad to see the daughters of the deceased man mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”
Last year at least three poachers were eaten by a lion pride last year at the Sibuya Game Reserve in Eastern Province, South Africa after they broke into the park to hunt rhino.
Owner Nick Fox said a head and a number of bloodied parts and limbs were recovered along with just a single empty shoe and their high powered hunting rifles and an axe.
Mr Fox said: “We found enough body parts which suggest to us the lions ate at least three of them but it is thick bush out there and there could be more bodies out there.
“They came heavily armed with enough food to last days so we suspect they were after all our rhinos but the lions are our watchers and guardians and they became the meal.
“We are of course saddened at any loss of life but these men came to kill our animals and this sends out a powerful message to poachers that you will not always be the winner.”
The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest reserve in the country and covers over 12,000 square miles and is home to the Big Five of rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard.
A South African Police Service spokesperson confirmed four men were in custody and they are investigating a fatality.